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Mary Magdalene, Young Life: Check out the News stories you read the most in September

Although students are only a month into the school year, there hasn't been a shortage of news on campus. From innovative Duke research to hurricanes to lawsuits against the University, here’s a recap of the stories you read the most in September. And don’t forget to check out our most popular Sports, Opinion and Recess stories as well.

1. One Duke researcher’s biblical discovery

Elizabeth Schrader, a Ph.D. candidate of early Christianity in the religious studies department, may have discovered a major naming discrepancy in the Bible regarding Mary Magdalene. Her work has attracted the attention of top biblical scholars, and she’s even met with the editors of the “industry standard” of the New Testament as they prepare the next edition.

2. Duke drops in US News rankings

The University fell from 8th to 10th place in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report college rankings. Duke had remained steady at No. 8 since 2015 except for a drop to 9th place in 2018. But the top of the list remained consistent with Princeton and Harvard taking the top spots. Despite the tumble in the overall rankings, Duke rose from 13th to 8th place in Best Value colleges.

3. DSG rejects Young Life

One week after tabling a proposal to charter Young Life, the Duke Student Government Senate voted to deny the group a chartered status Sept. 11. A national Christian organization, Young Life has branches in Durham and Chapel Hill. DSG took issue with Young Life’s policy barring LGBTQ+ individuals from holding leadership positions in the organization, a policy held by the national group from which the campus Young Life group could not deviate, they said.

4. Professor sues Duke for discrimination

Manal Abdelmalek, a professor and physician in the gastroenterology division at Duke, sued the University for race/national origin and gender discrimination. She pointed to repeated incidents of delayed compensation and promotion during her career at Duke, alleging that it fit into a general pattern of Duke favoring white and male employees. The University denied the allegations in a response to the complaint. 

5. Hurricane Dorian misses Durham but wreaks havoc

Duke was keeping an eye on Hurricane Dorian as the storm made a turn northward at the beginning of September, but Dorian produced only rain on the University’s main campus. The Marine Lab, however, evacuated students Sept. 4 and restarted classes Sept. 9 after sustaining “relatively minor damage.” Other areas, such as the Bahamas, were impacted much more as the Category 5 storm wreaked havoc and resulted in major destruction.

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